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Stay Informed

By: Bob Brichmann

Videotaping wedding ceremonies and receptions has been taking place for decades. 20 years ago, the cameras were almost as big as the giant cameras found in TV studios. Events were shot in Beta or VHS format. Looking back, it almost seems prehistoric now.
As with all technology, equipment has gotten much smaller and less expensive, quality has significantly improved and the whole process is easier for everyone to understand.

Bob Hoffman Photography & Video

Further separating the pro video from the amateur video world is the creative film-like approach videographers are stressing when it comes to properly videotaping weddings.
Movie Trailer – a two to three minute highlight reel of the bride and groom and their courtship leading up to the wedding. It’s a taste of things to come. This is delivered a few weeks before the wedding and the couple can post it to their blog or wedding web site or even
show it at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. It’s very popular.
Overall, people are going for more of a cinematic flair with moving shots, more sweeping shots, shots from above using a monopod to lift the camera over peoples’ heads. They want more of a short movie or wedding film.
Face it, we all love watching movies. Many brides and grooms want their beautiful day to play out like a fairy tale and be captured like a movie. They want the drama, emotion, memories and fun captured for eternity.
Today’s couples expect their wedding videos to have the look and feel of anything from an MTV music video to a Hollywood epic including movie trailers to ending credits.

Bob Hoffman Photography & Video

Your wedding day is arguably one of the most important days of your life. It’s very possibly a once in a lifetime event. It’s also a day that can be a blur.
So much is going on. So many people are doing different dances at different stages of the night. Conversation, jokes and stories run rampant throughout the room the entire day and night. A bride and groom cannot possible see, hear and share in everything as it unfolds.
Videos capture the sights and sounds…all of the emotions of the day. They can go back and see all the fun they missed. For people who lose older family, this might be the last video memory of them.
Photography captures moments, but video captures sound. How can you possibly remember the crackle in dad’s voice as he gives his toast and evokes some loving emotion from a picture? A picture can’t revive the screams of joy as your bridesmaids descend upon the dance floor upon hearing your favorite college dance song.
Video is usually one of the first things cut from the budget and then later turns into one of the biggest regrets. You won’t believe how many brides have told me this in hindsight.

Bob Hoffman Photography & Video

Adding entertainment value to your event is a big trend these days. Brides, grooms and families are enjoying sharing the childhoods of the special couple and their families.
Many companies are now offering both video and photography which allow the video editor to incorporate photos from engagement photo sessions, rehearsal dinners and wedding formals into their highlight video and photo montages.
Most of us have seen these. You start with three minutes of pictures of the bride growing up set to one of her favorite songs. Then three minutes of pictures of the groom set to his signature song. Then you close with three to four minutes of the courtship with a song with mutual meaning to the couple. If you’ve got some extra bucks, you might incorporate some video into the montage.
A key bit of advice? Keep it no longer than 10 minutes. Your guests will love it and thank you for keeping it concise and short.

Shot before the wedding…it’s kind of a he said – she said interview video on how they met. Then it closes with a shoot of them together explaining the what, when, why and how’s of their relationship.
Keep it short – 5 to 10 minutes. Usually shot at a favorite restaurant or in an environment the couple is most comfortable in. Then it’s played at a rehearsal dinner or as a prelude at the reception.
It can be creatively shown prior to the grand entrance of the bride and groom. Then they segue into their 1st dance. Very dramatic!

Blu-Ray, 3D…each are expensive now, but will come down in price for the average person, so they’ll expect it. Professional cameras are also shooting video. High definition is king right now, but that will evolve.
As the newer technologies develop, they are driven by promotion and word-of-mouth. As the popularity increases, production increases and price points become more competitive and more favorable to the consumer. It’s an age-old process.
The bottom line? Don’t discount video for your once-in-a-lifetime day! There are so many new and creative ways to add video entertainment to your special event.
Video can capture the day for you to remember and reminisce and, more importantly, for your children and family to enjoy for years to come.

Revisiting Wedding Day Memories with Video
By: Kristen Castillo

You watch videos on TV, on your cell phone and on the internet. So is there any chance you don’t want to video your wedding? Probably not. There’s nothing like a high quality professional video to highlight all of the special moments of your big day.
Bob Hoffman Photography & Video
The Wedding & Event Videographers Association International recently surveyed 500 brides. Nearly 40 percent of brides said they did not video their wedding and after the big day, over 60 percent of those brides said they wished they captured their wedding moments on video.“Video is the only medium that will allow you to see movement, color and sound,” says Bob Wright of Eagle Lion Video. “You can see and hear the whole ceremony.”

As with all aspects of wedding planning, once the big day is over, so is the opportunity to re-do things. If you overlook the importance of hiring a videographer for your wedding, you may have second thoughts about your decision.

Video vs. Photography
There shouldn’t be a competition between videography and still photography. The two formats are different and separate, but they complement each other. Many couples book a photographer first and consider videography second or sometimes not at all. But videography has its place. It tells the story of your wedding in a way still photography can’t. Sure you can browse your wedding album and reminisce over your images, but wouldn’t it be amazing to watch the day on video and relive the special moments as they happened?

“It sounds cliché, but long after the wedding dress has been put away, the flowers have wilted and the vows have been recited, the video will be there as a record of the wedding,” says Bob Hoffman of Bob Hoffman Video Productions. “Sometimes I hear from couples that they can only afford still photography. Just as there is no substitute for quality photography, there is no substitute for professional, creative videography.”

Another advantage of video’s quality is the ability to print still pictures shot by a videographer. “The video now is high definition color,” says Wright. “You can print out pictures from video, 30 pictures per second of video.”

Video Basics
These days, your phone has a camera and your camcorder shoots videos you upload to Camera technology is improving and is widely available, but that doesn’t mean anyone with a camera is the real deal.

Hoffman says consumers, including brides and grooms are more sophisticated these days and want quality, creativity, and a professional product when they hire a videographer. “Long gone are the days of just having a friend record the wedding,” he says. “Couples have seen what well-meaning amateurs can do. The dark grainy videos that seem to go on forever and the shaky short videos that seem to miss all the important moments. And then there is weak scratchy sound that might capture the minister but misses the bride and groom’s vows altogether.”

You definitely need a professional videographer to document your big day. An amateur may seem like a bargain, but think again. Most amateurs charge cheaper rates because their work is not top notch and their equipment is consumer-grade, not professional-grade. Plus many amateurs shoot weddings as a side job, not as a career.

A true professional videographer will have state of the art equipment, an eye for great video and solid post production skills like editing, sound mixing and special effects. After all, shooting the wedding is just the first part of the job. A videographer spends hours reviewing video and editing it on a computer with cutting edge software.

Wright says he spends two weeks in post production editing a wedding video. “We sit and work on it for 48 to 50 hours,” he says noting turnaround time for a completed video is about one month.
Bob Hoffman Photography & Video
Packages & Pricing
Wedding video packages vary from videographer to videographer. Generally, a basic package offers four to six hours of video coverage of your ceremony and reception with one videographer shooting the event. You’ll get a finished video that lasts anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. Prices range from $1000 to $1800 for this standard package.

Higher end packages usually include two or more videographers and offer coverage up to 10 or 12 hours, including pre-ceremony, ceremony, and reception. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2000 to $4500 for this type of package which typically includes four or more finished DVD’s of the wedding video. Most videographers also offer ala carte options such as video montages of childhood photos or a Q & A video about how you and your groom met. Prices for these extras vary, but usually start around $200 per service.

Wright says his average video length is two hours, but he also gives couples a condensed 30-minute version. “You’ll get the highlights,” he says. Hoffman says the length of wedding videos can vary so he focuses on personalizing each video to the needs of the bride and groom.

“Some people request shorter ‘highlights’ only videos and others prefer ‘feature length’ videos,” he says. “If there is a trend, it is toward getting both: a shorter video for friends and relatives and a more complete video just for the two of them to watch. Whatever a couple requests, we will do our best to give them exactly what they want.” DVD is definitely the preferred format. VHS is available if you want it, but most couples pass on the tape and go for the DVD, which has a much longer shelf life and better quality.

Say Hi to High-Def
High definition is one of the emerging trends in the video industry. The format is all about high resolution video with great clarity and quality.

“More and more couples are starting to request HD and we love offering the upgraded service for a modest additional charge to help defray the cost of more expensive equipment and more involved editing and post production,” says Hoffman.

Not all videographers are shooting in high-def right now, but many are getting ready for the format to revolutionize the wedding video scene. “High definition is definitely here,” says Wright. “We’ve got high definition cameras and we’re starting to shoot in high definition.”

Whether you want high definition or just high style, make sure your magical day is captured forever on video. You and your family will enjoy the video for years to come.